FTX ex-CEO Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty

Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he cheated investors in his now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, causing billions of dollars in losses in what prosecutors have called an epic fraud.

The 30-year-old defendant entered his plea through his lawyer to eight criminal counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, before United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan federal court.

Kaplan set an October 2 trial date.

A federal prosecutor, Danielle Sassoon, estimated a trial could take four weeks and said the government will soon turn over hundreds of thousands of documents of evidence to defence lawyers.

Bankman-Fried is accused of looting billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to support his Alameda Research hedge fund, buy real estate and make millions of dollars in political contributions.

It is common for criminal defendants to initially plead not guilty.

They can change their pleas later.

Bankman-Fried, now clean-shaven, had entered the courthouse wearing a blue suit, white shirt and dotted blue tie and carrying a backpack.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted.

Bankman-Fried rode a boom in the value of bitcoin and other digital assets to build a net worth of an estimated $26 billion ($A39 billion) and become an influential political donor in the US.

But FTX collapsed in early November after a wave of withdrawals and declared bankruptcy on November 11, wiping out Bankman-Fried's fortune.

He later said he had $US100,000 ($A148,559) in his bank account.

Bankman-Fried was extradited last month from the Bahamas, where he lived and where the exchange was based.

Since his release on bond on December 22, Bankman-Fried has been subject to electronic monitoring and required to live with his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, both professors at Stanford Law School in California.

Kaplan granted Bankman-Fried's request not to publicise the names of two additional co-signers for the bond.

The judge also imposed a new bail condition, saying Bankman-Fried cannot access FTX or Alameda assets.

The prosecution case was strengthened by last month's guilty pleas of two of Bankman-Fried's closest associates.

Caroline Ellison, who was Alameda's chief executive, and Gary Wang, FTX's former chief technology officer, pleaded guilty to seven and four criminal charges respectively and agreed to co-operate with prosecutors.

Bankman-Fried, Ellison and Wang were also sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Ellison and Wang settled those civil cases.

FTX's new chief executive, John Ray, known for his work on energy company Enron Corp's bankruptcy, has said FTX was run by "grossly inexperienced" and unsophisticated people.